February is American Heart Month

 

 

Jason

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women? To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, Coborn’s is proudly participating in American Heart Month. Continue reading “February is American Heart Month”

What is a Leek?

What is a Leek? www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Produce Philosophy with Mike
Mike P.

“It looks like a green onion”, but it is a leek.

We hear that all the time in the Produce world. Leek is slowly growing in popularity, but still remains in the category as somewhat of a gourmet type item. They have been around for many, many years, yet many people have never heard of them. Availability is year round and prices do not fluctuate much. The fall/ winter season seems to be when people use them the most. My favorite way that I have enjoyed leek is in soup, specifically Potato Leek soup. I love the mild, creamy onion flavor that it offers. Very simple, and easy to make. Leeks can also be sliced as a relish, eaten with a dip or raw, braised in the oven, diced, or added to a salad which adds a crunchy onion flavor.

Some of the health benefits known about leeks are that they are high in fiber and potassium. They are also known to help lower cholesterol and have many other vitamins benefits as well.

Leeks grow in the ground like a regular onion. The root and the white part are underground with the green tops sticking out. Because of this, the most important thing is to make sure that they are cleaned properly before using.  Cleaning them is quite easy. Cut the roots off of the bottom and chop off the top part between green and white. Then cut again lengthwise, and rinse under cold water. The dirt in there comes out pretty easy. Once they are clean, you are ready to dice up the leek. The white part is the part that is typically eaten. They are the most tender and have a mild flavor. The all green part is quite tough, with a strong flavor.

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup Recipe - www.cobornsblog.com

This is very simple and easy to do. You could add more ingredients if you so choose. Other things I may add from time to time might include diced carrots as another vegetable or diced ham or cooked chicken if you are looking for meat in yours. If you’re looking to try a different kind of soup, give this one a try. It is different, but oh so good.

Potato Leek Soup
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Large Leek, cut lengthwise, separate, and clean. Pale white and white part only, dice, and chop.
  • 2 T. Butter
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 Cups (1 can) Chicken Broth
  • 2 Lbs Potatoes, peeled, and diced
  • ¼ Cup Fresh or Dried Parsley
  • ½ tsp. Dried Thyme
Instructions
  1. Cook diced leek in butter with salt and pepper in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes checking often, as you do not want leeks to brown at all.
  3. Add water, broth, and potatoes.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
  5. Take about half of your soup mixture out of the pan and put in blender to puree it. This will still give you some soup that will have some chunks. You could puree all of it; if you want it real smooth and creamy with no chunks - your call.
  6. Return mixture to pan, add thyme and parsley.
  7. Season with more salt, 1 to 2 teaspoons, and ground pepper to desired taste.
Notes
Replace chicken broth with vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.

Enjoy!

Mike
Coborn’s, Inc. Produce Merchandiser

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What's the deal with saturated fats?

What's the deal with Saturated Fats? Are they good or bad? www.cobornsblog.com

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley. www.cobornsblog.com
Ashley

Hi Everyone! I think you will find this blog very interesting, as it has to do with saturated fats. There has been so much information floating around about them… are they good?… are they bad? Well, read on my friends…

New Research

As you know, science is always changing as there continues to be more and more research done.  In the world of nutrition, aka my world, new recommendations are coming out all the time so I always need to make sure to be basing my dietary advice on the most current evidence based research, which brings me to my topic for this blog… what is the real deal about saturated fats?

You may have noticed headlines all over the news, Facebook, and other forms of social media entitled, “Is saturated fat really all that bad?” Well, let me explain….

The three kinds of fats

What is the deal with Saturated Fats? www.cobornsblog.comI will start out with the basics… there are three kinds of fats… saturated, unsaturated and trans.  Please click here to learn more about trans fats. For both the saturated and unsaturated fats, there are many different kinds of fats under each of those headings.  For the different kinds of unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, which include omega 3s and omega 6s, these fats all have different properties that can be beneficial in the body in different ways.

A GOOD Saturated Fat?

Until recently all saturated fats were known as the bad guys…but now new research is showing that a specific type of saturated fat, called stearic acid, may not be so bad after all. As you may have read in my last blog, this is why the scores in the meat items have increased, as that is the main type of saturated fat found in beef.

In order to validate my points and use the most current evidence based research; here are a few declarations for you to read:

Here is a statement from the American Heart Association: Stearic acid is a saturated fat that is very stable in storage and during frying. Stearic acid is used to form margarines, shortenings, spreads, and as a cream base for baked products.  Even though stearic acid is a saturated fat, studies have suggested that it has little effect on blood cholesterol levels.”

Not all Saturated Fats are good.

“What are the “bad” fats and which foods contain them? The “bad” fats are saturated and trans fats.

Saturated fats occur naturally in many foods.  The majority we eat come mainly from animal sources, meat and dairy (milk fat) such as fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, beef fat (tallow), lard and cream, butter, cheese, and other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2%) milk.  These foods also contain cholesterol.  Many baked goods and fried foods can also contain high levels of saturated fats. Some plant foods, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil, also contain primarily saturated fats, but do not contain cholesterol.”

Here is a statement from Mayo Clinic:When choosing fats, pick unsaturated fat over saturated or trans fat. This is a type of fat that comes mainly from animal sources of food, such as red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Saturated fat raises total blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.”

To sum it all up

What is the deal with Saturated Fats? www.cobornsblog.comWhat this is all stating here is that saturated fats are still recommended to be minimal in the diet as they increased total cholesterol levels increasing one’s risk for chronic disease.  However, there are many types of saturated fats and current research is showing that the type of saturated fat known as stearic acid is not increasing cholesterol levels.

Harvard School of Public Health validates these above statements as well.

Bottom line: Even though you see many studies and posts all over social media about new research etc, you cannot always just read the headline and take that to the bank as they say… always check in with a professional and make sure you understand it correctly.  Some of those studies are small or short in length and can’t be regarded as evidence for the general public.

My Summary: Saturated fats are still regarded as not the best choice; they should be limited as they contribute to increased cholesterol levels.  However, one of the types of saturated fats, called “stearic acid,” is the only saturated fat known as this time to not increase total cholesterol levels.  Foods that have stearic acid as the main type of fat include: beef and pure dark chocolate.

Questions? You know where to find me.

Peace and Wellness,

Ashley
Coborn’s Supermarket Dietitian

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Eat Healthy Shop Smart with Ashley - www.cobornsblog.com

 

Label Reading 101

www.cobornsblog.com - Label Reading 101

www.cobornsblog.com - Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley
Ashley
Coborn’s Dietitian

Happy New Year, Everyone! What are your goals for the new year? Now I know you are probably expecting me to write about losing weight, exercising more, etc. But as you know, I already did that last year, so if you are interested in that blog please click here.

This year I want to encourage you all to focus on getting the facts right in all areas, but especially nutrition, of course. Because I am a supermarket dietitian I live in the grocery store and my number one job is to help you navigate through the grocery aisles and help you choose the most nutritious choices.

Label reading can be such a pain AND it can be quite confusing, so let me help explain how to read labels accurately and efficiently.

www.cobornsblog.com - Serving Size VS. Portion Size - What you are actaully eating1. Start with the Serving Size

  • Check the label for the serving size (the amount for one serving) and the number of servings in the package.
  • Compare your portion size (the amount you actually eat) to the serving size listed on the panel. If the serving size is one cup and you eat two cups, you are getting twice the calories, fat and other nutrients listed on the label. You can see this demonstrated in this graph.

2. Check out the Total Calories and Fat

  •  Find out how many calories are in a single serving and the number of calories from fat.
  • Calories provide a measure of how much energy you get from a serving of the food item. (Remember it is the number of servings you consume that determines the number of calories you actually eat).
  • It’s smart to cut back on calories and fat if you are watching your weight.

3. Let the Percentage Daily Values be your guide

www.cobornsblog.com - % Daily Values Chart

  • Use percent Daily Values (DV) to help evaluate how a particular food fits into your daily meal plan:
  • Daily Values are average levels of nutrients for a person eating 2,000 calories a day. A food item with a 5 percent DV of fat provides 5 percent of the total fat that a person consuming 2,000 calories a day should eat.
  • Percent DV are for the entire day, not just one meal or snack
  • You may need more or less than 2,000 calories per day. For some nutrients you may need more or less than 100 percent DV.
  • Five percent or less is low. Aim low in total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium.
  • 20 percent or more is high. Aim high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

4. Limit Fat, Cholesterol, and Sodium

  • Eating less fat, cholesterol and sodium may help reduce your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer.
  • Total fat includes saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat. Limit to 100 percent DV or less per day.
  • Zero trans fats; make sure there are no partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list either! That indicates trans fats even if the Nutrition Facts Panel says “0 grams.”
  • Saturated fat and trans fat are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
  • High levels of sodium increase your blood pressure.
  • Remember to aim for low percentage DV of these nutrients.

 5. Get enough Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber

  • Eat more fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron to maintain good health and help reduce your risk of certain health problems such as osteoporosis and anemia.
  • Choose more fruits and vegetables to get more of these nutrients.
  • Remember to aim high for percentage DV of these nutrients.

 6. Additional Nutrients

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Sugar
  • Most Americans eat more protein than they need, so a percentage Daily Value is not required on the label. Eat moderate portions of lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, plus beans, peanut butter and nuts.
  • We want to limit our added sugar as much as possible

7. Check the Ingredient List/Order of ingredients

  • Foods with more than one ingredient must have an ingredient list on the label.
  • Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Those in the largest amounts are listed first. This information is particularly helpful to individuals with food sensitivities, those who wish to avoid pork or shellfish or limit added sugars or people who prefer vegetarian eating

www.cobornsblog.com - Product Claims and what they mean8. Package Claims

Many times you will see nutrition claims on the front of packages such as the examples below.  Learn about what those terms actually mean for the food product by taking a look at the chart shown here.

In case that sounds like too much work, I am sure you are familiar with NuVal.  If not, come and see me! Oh, and I will be blogging a TON about NuVal in March! Get excited for all things NuVal during March, National Nutrition Month!! Until then, Happy New Year to you and your families and friends! Make it a healthy one!

Peace and Wellness,
Ashley
Coborn’s Registered Dietitian

 

Click Here for more blog articles written by Ashley

Eat Healthy Shop Smart with Ashley - www.cobornsblog.com